Time. It’s our most precious resource. The question is – where does it go?
When you lead a busy life – whether that’s because of work, kids, caring responsibilities – it can be difficult to fit in time for running.
And actually, it’s not just about the time running takes up – it’s about justifying that time.
Remember what we said about time being precious? Because running is for *us*, it can slip down the priority list quickly. There are lots of shoulds and musts we feel we’ve got to pay attention to before we get to the, I’d really like to do that category – and that’s where running often falls.
But that’s why it’s so important to build running into – and around – your busy life. Once it’s part of your routine, it becomes a non-negotiable – and that’s when it becomes hard to say no to running.
How to get to that point where running is a built-in part of daily life? Read on for our top tips…
Be honest with yourself – and plan
Take a long, honest look at your weekly schedule. Where are the pinch points – clubs and activities, late meetings, night shifts? What do you have to do, and what can you afford to drop or reschedule? And, once you’ve done that, where can you fit in your runs?
If you can schedule runs for the same days and times per week, that’s great; make everyone in the house aware and try to get them on board. This could be something as simple as the kids colouring in completed training runs on your plan or arranging to meet your partner or friend afterwards for a drink or well-deserved meal. If things vary too much, try sitting down on a Sunday night and planning where you can fit your exercise in during the week ahead.
And the next part of the process? Preparation. Once you know when and where you’re running, make sure you’re ready – whether that means having some clean kit waiting in your wardrobe or car boot, or meal-planning so that you don’t lose time in the kitchen.
Timing is everything – and multitasking is magic
When you’re planning your running routines, try to think outside of the box. Could you get up half an hour earlier before the day’s responsibilities start to close in? Or swap your box set habit for a quick evening session? If you get an hour for lunch, could you use some of it for running? Or could you run to – or from – work a couple of times a week?
If you’re a busy parent, could you build something in with the kids – swap your stroll with the pram for a buggy run, maybe? Or while the kids are kicking a football around at the park, could you manage some laps or some hill training? Where there’s a running will, there’s a way!
A little is better than nothing
It’s a running myth that all training sessions have to be lengthy. Of course, you need some long, steady, moderate-paced training sessions, but you also need to work on speed intervals, technique work and resistance training e.g. hill repetitions – and those sessions tend to take less time.
Got 20 minutes? Grab it and use it productively, i.e. for something short and intensive. It’s better than nothing – and it all goes towards building that all-important habit that makes saying no to running more difficult.
Find a running buddy
Running buddies don’t just give you someone to talk to and help take your mind off that awful hill at the end of your regular route – they also make you accountable to someone.
It’s easy to cancel a run at the last minute when it’s only you who’s going. But letting a friend down? Most of us find that more difficult. A good running buddy can help to keep you on track and cheer you on when you’re not feeling it – and you can do the same for them.
Because you’re worth it
It takes time to build that running habit, but it’s *so* worth it. Spending time exercising is always time well spent – both for your physical and your mental health. And trust us – it’ll soon become something you can’t do without rather than something you’re always trying to squeeze in. Result!